An alternative theory of
Apollonius of Tyana and the Eusebian fiction postulate
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The Writings of Apollonius of Tyana
[The full title is given by Eudocia, Ionia; ed. Villoison (Venet 1781) p 57] This treatise is mentioned by Philostratus (iii 41; iv 19), who tells us that it set down the proper method of sacrifice to every God, the proper hours of prayer and offering. It was in wide circulation, and Philostratus had come across copies of it in many temples and cities, and in the libraries of philosophers. Several fragments of it have been preserved, [See Zeller, Phil d Griech, v 127] the most important of which is to be found in Eusebius, [Præparat. Evangel., iv 12-13; ed Dindorf (Leipzig 1867), i 176, 177] and is to this effect: “ ‘Tis best to make no sacrifice to God at all, no lighting of a fire, no calling Him by any name that men employ for things to sense. For God is over all, the first; and only after Him do come the other Gods. For He doth stand in need of naught e’en from the Gods, much less from us small men - naught that the earth brings forth, nor any life she nurseth, or even any thing the stainless air contains. The only fitting sacrifice to God is man’s best reason, and not the word that comes from out his mouth. “We men should ask the best of beings through the best thing in us, for what is good - mean by means of mind, for mind needs no material things to make its prayer. So then, to God, the mighty One, who’s over all, no sacrifice should ever be lit up.” Noack [Psyche, I ii.5.] tells us that scholarship is convinced of the genuineness of this fragment. This book, as we have seen, was widely circulated and held in the highest respect, and it said that its rules were engraved on brazen pillars at Byzantium. [Noack, ibid.]
NB: Extended title - Sirr al-Khalíqa wa San‘at at-Tabí‘at (The Secret of Creation and the Craft of Nature) This work was derived by Apollonius (in Arabic Balínús) according to Jábir ibn Hayyán (722-815) from the Kitáb al-‘Ilal (The Book of Causes) of Hermes. It ranges from explaining the metaphysical origin of the universe to considerations on the ontological categories of the world and the nature of the human soul. The Arabic version of this book is no doubt based on an original written in Syriac, Balínús’ native tongue. A Christian monk of Neapolis in Palestine named Sájiyús states that he translated the work (into Arabic?) "so that those who remain after me may have the benefit of reading it." - Balínús, Sirr al-Khalíqa wa San‘at at-Tabí‘at (Kitáb al-‘Ilal), ed. Ursula Weisser (Aleppo, Syria: University of Aleppo, 1979) p. 100 According to the account recorded in the introduction to the Sirr al-Khalíqa, Balínús discovered both the Emerald Tablet of Hermes and the "Book of Causes" while exploring a crypt beneath a statue of Hermes: "Thus, I found myself across from an old man seated upon a golden throne who was holding in his hand an emerald Tablet on which was written: “Here is the craft of nature.” And in front of him was a book on which was written: “Here is the secret of creation and the science of the causes of all things.” With complete trust I took the book [and the Tablet] and went out from the crypt. Thereafter, with the help of the book, I was able to learn the secrets of creation, and through the Tablet, I succeeded in understanding the craft of nature. - Balínús, Sirr al-Khalíqa, p.7. There is another story in Philostratus (viii, 19-20), where Apollonius enters a cave at the temple of Trophonius in Greece to visit its oracle, declaring that his purpose is "in the interests of philosophy." After seven days, he returns to his companions, carrying a book of philosophy supposedly conformable to the teachings of Pythagoras. Philostratus says that this book, along with the letters of Apollonius, was later entrusted to the care of the emperor Hadrian and kept in his palace at Antium. The full text of the Emerald Tablet can be found at the end of the Sirr al-Khalíqa.
Addressed by Balínús to his son, it partly matches up with a Greek pseudo-epigraph titled The Book of Wisdom of Apollonius of Tyana, which Dzielska believes was composed no earlier than the late fifth century, probably in Antioch by Christian Gnostics. [Dzielska, Apollonius of Tyana, pp. 104-105] The following extract is from an article by Keven Brown, who has provided the research on the Islamic Hermetic tradition, in this article here : Where did the legends of Apollonius’ talismans come from? They are not mentioned by Philostratus, so they were either unknown to him, or he did not wish to speak about them. Maria Dzielska, whose book Apollonius of Tyana in Legend and History has been very helpful in constructing this account of Apollonius, has explained this question. Eusebius is the first to refer to them in his Contra Hieroclem. He says that "certain queer implements attributed to Apollonius were used in his times." [Cited in Dzielska, Apollonius of Tyana, p. 101] After Eusebius, references to Apollonius’ talismans begin to appear frequently. Pseudo-Justin mentions the dissemination of Apollonius’ talismans in Antioch. It appears that these objects were so popular that Antioch’s Church leaders decided to accept them. Pseudo-Justin illustrates the problem in a work containing a dialogue between a theologian and a Christian: "The Christian is concerned about the popularity and spread of Apollonius’ talismans. He wonders how to explain their magical powers.... He wonders why God...allows them.... The theologian dispels his doubts saying that there is nothing evil about those objects because they were produced by Apollonius who was an expert in the powers governing nature and in the cosmic sympathies and antipathies... and that is why they did not contradict God's wisdom ruling the world." --- [Ibid., pp. 101-102] The talismans, which were usually made out of stone or metal, were placed in cities to protect their inhabitants against plagues, wild animals, vermin, natural disasters, and the like. Two other centers in the Greek east where memories of Apollonius had been strongest, Agaeae and Tyana, were completely converted to Christianity by this time, so there is no mention of Apollonius’ talismans there. However, surprisingly, in Constantinople itself Apollonius’ talismans became popular. The sixth century Antiochian historian Malalas wrote that, during Domitian’s rule Apollonius paid a visit Byzantium, where he left many talismans in order to help the Byzantines in their troubles.[Ibid,p.108] In the thirteenth century, in the hippodrome in Byzantium, there was still a bronze eagle holding a snake in its claws, which citizens said had been placed there by Apollonius to protect them against a scourge of venomous snakes. This talisman was destroyed by the crusaders in 1204.[Ibid,p.110]
This treatise by Jabir ibn Hayyan, was divided into four parts of approximately equal length, called simply al-juz' al-awwal ('the first part'), al-juz' al-thani ('the second part'), al-juz' al-thalith ('the third part'), and al-juz' al-rabi‘ ('the fourth part'). Of this treatise, NLM has a manuscript containing an extract from the 2nd part (juz') and possibly also from the 3rd juz' . For other copies, see Sezgin, GAS IV, p. 253 no. 3, and Kraus, Jabir, p. 80 no. 307-10. There are only three other recorded copies: Paris, BNF, MS arabe 5099, copied in 1614/1023; Tehran, Danishgah MS 49; and Cairo, Dar l-Kutub, Tal‘at kimya' MS 218. Portions of the treatise have been edited and translated into English by Syed Nomanul Haq, Names, Natures and Things: The Alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan and his Kitab al-Ahjar (Book of Stones) [Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 158] (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994), pp. 119-162 Arabic edition and English translation pp. 163-202. An earlier partial edition using only the Paris copy was published in P. Kraus, Jabir ibn Hayyan (Essai sur l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam). Vol. 1: Textes choisis (Cairo: Libraries El-Khandji and Paris: G.P. Maisonneuve,1935), pp. 126-205. The NLM (National Library of Medicine) copy was not used in either edition.
In this work Aristotle is made to present the book to Alexander, which he says was given to him by Balínús, who retrieved it from a watery tomb, where Hermes had deposited it for safekeeping. The book discusses, among other things, the principles of alchemy and the manufacture of elixirs, the composition of poisons and their antidotes, and the use of talismans for healing.
4 books. Philostratus (iii 41) seems to think that the full title was Divination of the Stars, and says that it was based on what Apollonius had learned in India; but the kind of divination Apollonius wrote about was not the ordinary astrology, but something which Philostratus considers superior to ordinary human art in such matters. He had, however, never heard of anyone possessing a copy of this rare work. A work On Astrology is mentioned by Moeragenes and Damis
Porphyry refers to this work, 8 [See Noack, Porphr. Vit. Pythag., p 15] and Iamblichus quotes a long passage from it. [Ed. Amstelod., 1707, cc 254-264]
This was written in the Ionic dialect, and contained a summary of his doctrines. [References: Philostratus' sources?]
Ascribed to him, ref??
Eudocia speaks of many other( ?a? a??ap???a) works of Apollonius.
Jábir ibn Hayyán defends a natural picture of Balínús. In his Kitáb al-Baht, he criticizes vehemently such stories of magical exploits and attributes them to the inventions of charlatans and liars. If Balínús is truly the master of talismans, according to Jábir, it is not due to magic but to his perfect knowledge of the properties of things. For Jábir and other Muslim scientists, Balínús was primarily a natural philosopher, and they attribute to him several cosmological, astrological, and alchemical treatises. [Kraus, Jábir ibn Hayyán, pp. 295] Jábir ibn Hayyán also wrote ten books according to the opinion of Balínús (‘alá ra’y Balínús). A collection of sayings from Balínús in Arabic have come into Latin under the title Dicta Belini. There is also a work in Arabic by a disciple of Apollonius named Artefius, called Miftáh al-Hikmat (The Key to Wisdom) [Kraus, Jábir ibn Hayyán, p. 298, and Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition, vol. 1, p. 995.]
The Letters of Apollonius of Tyana